Control Stuff With Your Mac

I picked up a Velleman K8055 USB I/O card the other day and was a bit disappointed that the only software that came with it was a closed source Win32 DLL and a simple control panel for the board. So I don’t have to boot into Windows to play with it I’ve produced a Mac OS X application that talks to the board. Here’s what the board looks like:


And here’s what the app looks like:


Thrilling stuff eh? Anyway you can download the source here: K8055-src-0.1.tar.gz or if you prefer you can get the application built on OS 10.4 (but believed compatible with Panther and maybe Jaguar) here: K8055.dmg. I’m going to move it to Sourceforge once the project registration is approved.

It doesn’t actually do very much at the moment - you can turn the outputs on and off and see the inputs change state. Next I’ll add Applescript support so you’ll be able to write simple scripts to control it and respond to events. I’m also thinking of producing a GPL (or LGPL) library that exposes the same API as the Velleman DLL but works on Windows, Mac OS and Linux. In the mean time if you want to write a Mac application that talks to a K8055 just rip the necessary code out source archive.

Update: The project has now moved to SourceForge. You can find it here: The initial release that’s there is the same as the release here.

101 Responses to “Control Stuff With Your Mac”

  1. Andrew Turner Says:

    Very nice work. I wasn’t aware of this inexpensive board. I’m looking forward to trying it out.

    Post up to your blog when the SF project page is approved and opened.

  2. Andy Says:

    Thanks Andrew. I’m just working on making the app scriptable just now. Hopefully the SF project will be approved in the next couple of days which will coincide with me having a new version to release.

  3. Robert Van Deest Says:

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You…. for putting together some software for the Mac environment.
    I saw the USB I/O board and thought what a neat item, too bad there was nothing for the Mac.
    Now there is!!!!!
    Please keep working on enhanced software for the Mac, There is a group of us waiting for the return of control software that will work with our Mac’s,
    Looking forward to seeing the software and web site.
    Keep up the excellent work.

  4. Andy Says:

    You’re welcome Robert :)

    I’ll keep the updates coming.

  5. Andrew Turner Says:

    Also - let me request that you release it under at least the LGPL. The GPL is rather restrictive in that *anything* linking to the library much also be open-source. By comparison, the LGPL allows linking to the library without open-sourcing the other code.

    I think you’ll have more interested people if you release it under the LGPL while keeping the library itself open-source and growing.

  6. Andy Says:

    It’s only GPL at the moment because it isn’t actually a separate library although that will probably change. I’ll make the next release under LGPL and, in the mean time, if you need a copy of the code licensed in that way just ask me.

  7. Andy Says:

    OK folks it’s on SourceForge now at

  8. Diarmuid Says:

    If you are interested in this sort of thing check out $15 for a years subscription and the electronic version is the full PDF of the Mag with loads of adds etc. There is generally loads on interfacing with PCs. I subscribe but am not connected to the mag in any way.

    also a linux related page for the same board.

    Just one thing. It would be good to have an open source driver for windows. I’ll have a look at your code and see if I can convert the protocol to a windows dll. has a kit. is it the same board? for the manu. Click on Kits on the right.



  9. Diarmuid Says:


  10. Andy Says:

    Hi Diarmuid,

    I looked at; they use libusb to talk to the board which on the Mac means that you have to install a codeless kernel extension to stop the board from being grabbed by the Mac’s HID subsystem at startup and also (I think) that you don’t get asynchronous notifications from the board.

    The driver code I wrote talks to the board as a HID device (which on Mac OS X is a layer on top of the raw USB subsystem) so you don’t have to fiddle about installing a kernel extension and the driver gets an async callback when one of the inputs changes state.

    The board on the Apogee Kits site is the same one.

  11. Andy Says:

    Oh and I think I’ll be writing a driver for Windows / Linux / Mac that emulates the API of the Velleman DLL; I’ll release that under LGPL too.

    I’m also keen to find other similar boards that people are using or would like to use so I can write drivers for them too…

  12. Diarmuid Says:

    Yikes, you have a pretty solid knowledge of the internals

    I adapted the USBSharp dotnet solution to work with the griffen USB Remote. After I wrote it an could capture the events, I tried to find a use for it, to no avail. However a USB IO board would be excellent.

    It’d be pretty cool to integrate the two lots of hardware to allow one to drive the USB IO board with the USB remote. Range of 60 + feet.

    Did you make yours from a kit or did you buy it made. If so what did you pay?

    I’ll have a look at also.


  13. Guido Körber Says:

    Sorry for product plugging, but the IO-Warrior comes with support for MacOS X and Linux as standard:
    We even have a gateway for AppleEvents/AppleScript.

  14. Ken Says:

    Could you give some practical uses for the device? I’d like to know what you plan on, or dream of using it for.

  15. Reinhard Bardenbacher Says:

    I bought the card last week and bought it because I know a bit of Borlands C++ Builder but would prefer to have a Mac application. So I was very pleased to see you application! Thanks.

    Only problem - the card works on the windows machine with the supplied demo software - but it doesn’t work with your software. The GUI starts but no response to the card itself. I thought maybe the card address is wrong - so I tried all 4 of them - but nothing happens.

    I downloaded your source code and saw that there are two main’s - hm. I set a breakpoint at the ” devs = [K8055 findDevices];” in the USBTest.m but it seems never to enter it. The GUI sits there and no response to the card.

    Do I do something basic wrong?

    I use a Mac mini with OS X version 10.4.2 and tried it on a G3 iBook with version 10.3.8 as well with the same result.

    kind regards

  16. Andy Says:

    Wow, lots of comments. In order then starting with Diarmuid.

    I guess you must be able to get a USB wireless remote that just works out of the box. I wonder what the range of a wireless mouse is? :)

    I bought it as a kit from Maplin in the UK. They cost £30 over here which is about $45 I guess. You can find them cheaper online but I like going to Maplin to browse all the other stuff… I’ve just today bought a second one to build up so I can test the software with multiple boards.

    To Ken: I had a cunning plan to try and get a Palm Tungsten T5 with a WiFi card in it to talk USB to a Konica digital camera so we could hang the whole thing on a kite and have a remote controlled WiFi kitecam. Then I thought about having a tilt and pan platform that could also be remote controlled so that called for a USB I/O card. I haven’t cracked the problem of getting the Palm to be a USB master yet though so that might not happen.

    I get the impression that Velleman intend you to use it as a lab controller - to automate experiments. I quite fancy hooking it up to some weather station stuff. But, er, who knows really? :)

    Reinhard: USBTest.m is part of a separate target in the Xcode project. You can either build K8055 or USBTest - that’s why each has a main(). The target you should be building is K8055 and if you want to see it try to detect the boards you need to set a breakpoint /inside/ [K8055 findDevices]. I’m not sure why it isn’t working though - I’ve tested it hear on a PowerBook and an old G4 both running Tiger and they work just fine.

    If you’ve installed Xcode you should have a copy /Developer/Applications/Utilities/IORegistryExplorer - can you run that and browse through the USB devices to see if the K8055 shows up please?

  17. Andy Says:

    Oh and Guido - sorry to miss you out. I’m just looking at your site now. Looks good :)

  18. Reinhard Bardenbacher Says:

    Hi again,

    ok, I used IORegistryExplorer on the Mac mini and it showed me after the Root > EHCI Root Hub Simulation@1B,2 > IOUSBHubDevice@5b200000 > USB K8055@5b2200000 the card. On the iBook slightly simpler because I connect it directly to the onboard USB - Root > OHCI Root Hub Simulation@19xxxxxx> USB K8055@19100000.

    When I connect the card via the USB cable on the Mac (any) it behaves as it does with the PC. The power LED lights up and the LED 8 of the output blinks shortly before it goes out.

    Back in XCode I compiled sucessful the K8055 project and realized that the USBTest file was still red (possibly not touched) so I compiled it afterwards setting the target on USBTest. Then I had errors :

    Available devices: 00
    2005-09-20 20:54:04.882 USBTest[1134] *** Uncaught exception: Device 0 unavailable

    USBTest has exited due to signal 5 (SIGTRAP).

    kind regards

  19. Andy Says:

    Hmm, that’s interesting. Firstly if you just build K8055 then USBTest will still be red - that’s nothing to worry about - it’s just that you haven’t built it. It should work though. How old is your K8055 board? I wonder if they’ve made any changes to it that would stop it working.

    Coul you go to the console and mail me the output of ioreg -l please? If you start the console and paste the following line at the prompt it’ll mail the information I need to me:

    $ ioreg -l | mail -s “ioreg dump”

    (the dollar sign is the shell prompt - don’t copy and paste that)

  20. Reinhard Bardenbacher Says:


    I just discovered that the variable int avail = [K8055 findDevices] is 0.

    NSLog(@”avail = [K8055 findDevices] returns: %d”,avail);

    Therefore I never get an object of K8055 allocated/initialized.

    so why does [K8055 findDevices] return 0 in my case?

    kind regards

  21. Andy Says:

    That’s what we’re trying to find out :)

  22. Andy Says:

    OK, got the ioreg dump you sent Reinhard. Unfortunately it looks pretty much the same as on my machine so that doesn’t explain the problem. Could you possibly try setting a break point in K8055.m at line 247 (iter = [self getIterator]) and run either K8055 or USBTest in the debugger. I’d like to know whether the iterator ever returns any values.

  23. Reinhard Bardenbacher Says:

    Hi again

    no it doesn’t return anything else but zero.

    I’ve set the breakpoint at iter = [self getIterator]; and before it stopped it had 0 and when I stepped over it remained zero.

    I bought the card last saturday here in Cambridge UK at Maplin UK.

    I was thinking about to have a look if I could read the firmware with an pic programmer but I would think they have protected the code - to figure out if ther is a different frimware in my Pic?


  24. Reinhard Bardenbacher Says:

    Hi again

    reading out the pic doesn’t work - only 3FFF’s - possibly code protected.


  25. Andy Says:

    I’ve just had a thought. Before you tried my code did you try the Linux driver which also works on Mac OS X and which requires you to install a kext? That would certainly prevent it from working.

  26. Reinhard Bardenbacher Says:

    oh - that was a big drama - I ruined with this my whole afternoon. I tried it but it didn’t work!!
    I have now the kext in the /System/Library/Extentions folder…but as I said it did not work.
    I did not understand the line ./build_macosx - told me command not found….

    so what should I do now - remove the kext file?

  27. Andy Says:

    Yes - and that’s clearly something I need to add to the documentation. The kext prevents the HID layer of the I/O subsystem from claiming the device. If you’re going to use libusb with the device you have to do that otherwise you can’t open the device.

    My code talks to the device through the HID subsystem so if you’ve stopped the HID subsystem from seeing the device it won’t work :)

    My objective was to have it work /without/ having to install a kext and reboot. So yes, delete the kext and reboot and I believe it will start working :)

  28. Reinhard Bardenbacher Says:

    wow - cool, I just removed the kext file on the notebook - rebooted and it works.
    all inputs and outputs work.

    perfect - thanks for your help and your patience and of course for this piece of software.



  29. Andy Says:

    I’m glad it worked and thanks for highlighting the problem - it wouldn’t have occured to me otherwise. I’m working on Applescript support now so hopefully I’ll have a new release in a couple of days.

    I think I’ll probably add some code to detect the problem with the kext so it can produce a friendly error message that tells people how to fix the problem too :)

  30. Guido Körber Says:

    The Palm Tungsten idea is likely not going to work. The Tungsten models have no USB host controller and you can not make two devices talk to each other.

    Same thing for the idea of combining the USB remote control receiver with anything but a computer.

  31. Andy Says:

    That’s interesting - is the USB hardware different for a host then? I assumed that the interface was electrically symmetrical and it was only the driver that made a difference.

  32. Ross Bernheim Says:

    Interesting work.

    Check out the LabJack Interface. We use this board at work. Unfortunately, it is mostly windows support but there was some mention of linux. It is a usb to digital and analog i/o. The analog can be configured as single ended or differential for each input. The unit can be had for under 100 dollars if you order it without the connectors or plastic case.

    We got into it because one of our customers wanted to control the equipment we make without having to build their own interface. They use windows software to integrate this into their system.

  33. Andy Says:

    They look interesting - although I quite like the bare board aesthetic and low price of the K8055 :)

    If anyone would like Mac support for it I think you’ll have to send me one - I don’t have to budget to buy one right now :)

  34. Erik Says:


    Just bougt the K8055 today.
    Will try the software as soon as I have built the board.


  35. Patrick Says:

    Very nice work Andy ;-)
    Works like a charme so keep up the good work
    Greetings from Belgium

  36. Guido Körber Says:

    USB Host and Device are totally different hardware. The host is a lot more complex and is required to be able to do all transfer modes and speeds. A device controller only needs to support whatever it needs, besides a certain basic set of functionality.

    In both cases there is some special hardware involved that does the base level protocol. This takes care for all the real time singalling on the bus. Theoretically it is possible to implement a device just in software (someone with a lot of spare time actually did it), but this is very complicated and unflexible as your timing breaks every time you change anything on the code.

  37. Andy Says:

    Ah right - thanks Guido :)

  38. JeanMi Says:

    Hi Andy !

    Congratulation for this very useful piece of software.
    Thanks a lot for it and Greetings from France.

    I have just bought the board this afternoon, Hope to try this stuff to morrow !

  39. Peter Says:

    Hi Andy,

    Looks like we have both been doing the same thing at the same time..

    check out


  40. John Says:

    Hi there
    Tried both versions of the K8055 (Andy & Peter) and it seems that Peter’s program doesn’t run with tiger 10.4.2?

  41. Peter Says:

    Hi John,
    Looks like the application file on my web server was corupt and does not work on any system. Try it again and let me know how you go..


  42. Phil Says:

    I’m also keen to find other similar boards that people are using or would like to use so I can write drivers for them too…

    I have a Nuclear Power Station simulator which was my first interface project many moons ago. It runs to Velleman K8000 in Parrallel. Still ran out of useable inputs need to run a dummy keyboard inside the panel to give a representation of all of the buttons. A few people have done Linux software for the board already.

    I will dig out the hardware and the original QBasic/C++ software versions if you would like something to play with.

  43. Andy Says:

    Sounds cool Phil but I don’t have a parallel port or QBasic :)

  44. Phil Says:

    Oh and for wireless USB speak to Nathan at Sparkfun Electronics. They have various WIreless modules and some of the USB ones will work out of the box with no need for PIC programing.

  45. Andy Says:

    That’s about the third recommendation I’ve had for SparkFun lately - I’ll go and check them out, thanks :)

  46. Phil Says:

    I haven’t found anywhere with a better service. Their new rowing electronics are the best available and their retro mobile phone is way cool. Lots of toys from Bluetooth to Accelerometers and GPS modules to Cellular components.

  47. Steven Says:

    I’ve just come across this board recently myself, and am desperate to think up some project for it- with Christmas coming along a lighting controller is tempting (just get a digital pot on the voltage divider of a meaty variable regulator and you are away for dimmer heaven)… But anyway, my comment really is that you can get the board for £16.70+VAT from CPC ( which is surely a steal.

  48. Andy Says:

    Ah cool - thanks for the CPC tip :)

  49. Mike Says:

    Yep, it’s in the UK at CPC on their sale leaflet, at Steven’s price. I was going to buy one today, but wondered whether anybody had ported it to a Mac, so thought I’d check it out tonight. Really pleased you made the effort Andy, guess i’ll be going to CPC tomorrow, Incidentally cpc are part of Farnell AFAIK.
    I want to use one as a tacho for a variable speed drive, and then something else.

  50. Mike Says:

    Hi again Andy,
    Got my board/kit from CPC Preston and built it up Sunday. Tried your software and it didn’t work….tried Peter’s which did. Hacked into the latter with Xcode, and now on a steep objective-C learning curve. Getting wiser after looking at Apple developer pages, tried your software again no issues now :confused: Sorry Peter but I prefer Andy’s UI. Thanks to you both…and looks like because of you guys I’ll be reading and learning stuff that I’d never have given time of day for :D

  51. Bastiaan Says:

    Great work Andy,

    Finally somebody who takes the time and effort to get hardware compatible with the macintosh, i very much appreciate it and this week i will get the board from my local electronics store nearby, they sell it for 39,95 (euro), not very expensive and i will have a huge load of fun playing with it of that i am sure.

    The best thing is that you share the source so we all can make programms for this board, hopefully you will set-up some pages on your website where people can show what they have done using your application or parts of it.

    I for one would be very curious, hopefully you will be developing this further!

    Keep us posted and again many thanks i think i speak for a majority of mac users! Can’t wait to control stuff using my G5

    kind regards

    Bastiaan (from the Netherlands)

  52. Bastiaan Says:

    Oh i forgot some side information, the K8055 comes in assembled version too under the productcode VM110, its the same board this i noticed while i was browsing the velleman website. It’s a little more expensive (55 euro’s), but it saves you alot of time soldering!!!

    regards Bastiaan

  53. Bastiaan Says:

    Hi Andy,

    Just wanted to tell you that your software works like a charm!!!!! it’s absolutely perfect. I got the kit today from my local electronics store. After doing hundreds of soldering points i connected it to my Imac (yes i got an imac too, just for these kind of projects i am grazy but i rather blow up a imac then my way to expensive G5) After a little test i can only say GREAT WORK i am now going to build some sort of robotic arm control app.

    regards Bastiaan

  54. Mike Says:

    Hi Andy

    I’ve been messing with the K8055 and put a new hard drive in the laptop…you know I said “Your’s didn’t work and then it did” I realised what I did. I opened the application from the .dmg download, and didn’t drag it into the applications folder first. If you do the former it doesn’t work….doh

  55. Bastiaan Says:

    Hey Mike,

    I don’t understand i did manage to open the programm without copying it first to my application folder and it recognized my K8055 directly.

    I am very curious what others are planning for the board? I am currently programming an app that can control a homebrew cnc drill (still learning the objective-c language but i manage pretty well), the source Andy provided works just perfect and i managed to clean it a little for the parts i need!

    Again Andy Thanks!

    regards Bastiaan

  56. Mike Says:

    Hi Bastiaan

    I was switching between different Apples, so I didn’t realise what I had done. After upgrading the OS and hard drive on my laptop, it was quicker to download the demo again than fix a network issue. I d/l to the desktop, and if I double clicked on the program icon from the opened .dmg file, it wouldn’t connect with the hardware from Andy’s user interface, but yet if I dragged the K8055 icon to my applications folder it, opened up the app from there it connected with the leds/ horizontal indicators illuminated. HTH

    I am trying to measure the speed of a rotating shaft from a toothed wheel plus temperature from a couple of thermocouples. I am a newbie to this obj-c stuff, but I know what I want to do. I have built a test shaft with a variable speed drive, toothed wheel and a crank sensor off a car (it’s cheap), just need to hook it up.

    After having a go on a PC, I am sticking to the Mac…I like the documentation.
    Last night I finally got custom classes and played with Peters code, tweaking the interface and flipping bar indicators 90 degrees. I d/l Xcode 2.1 to look at Andy’s. I also understand why Peter’s UI looks like it does, it’s a copy of the windows version that Velleman supply, sorry Peter, I said I preferred Andy’s. I have rearranged your UI to mimic the board layout, flipping 1-8 of the digital outputs, because it was easier for the kids to follow!

  57. Bastiaan Says:

    Hey Mike,

    Great to hear your staying with Mac, i work with macs for over 15 years now and to be honest i wouldn’t dare to touch a pc. Somehow it all seems simpler on a mac. I am happy for you that you got the board working and hopefully you will be able to get the rest working pretty soon from now.

    I myself am no guru if it comes to programming in OSX, but i do seem to get the hang of it. I bought the Cocoa programming for osx (author Hillegass) some time ago, this is very helpfull for me. Ofcourse apple’s documentation at there developers website is a big help too.

    Anyway i am still trying to write the software for a CNC device, which is hard by itself. Another project which i am thinking of is a 3d scanner. This will also be a pretty complex programm.

    A message for all: “if you are a guru with objective-c and feel you can help with both projects then i am standing here with open arms”

    Anyway i do have a great time developing and i am sure that in time i will get a first version to test with. For now i made the interfaces for my programm and rewritten some parts to control the 8 digital outputs. I am now looking into what kind of steppermotor i need and whats best to connect.

    Anyway your project sounds very cool, do you work with a steppermotor? I have seen steppers that give on each rotation a signal back, this could be used by you to meassure speed, it makes life alot easier although i think it will be a bit more expensive. So if you won’t mind paying a little more then steppermotors are your thing.

    I would love to see screendumps and photographs of the project when finished.

    Anyway i got to go now


  58. Mike Says:

    Hi Bastiaan

    Just a quick note, I need 0-22000 rpm max, forward and reverse and 400W, so a washing machine motor and a Velleman kit for the variable speed is ok :D
    I am off to the bookshop, hopefully the headache will go away! Any recommendations for newbies to all things programming using Cocoa?


  59. Bastiaan Says:

    Hey Mike

    Yep you should buy Cocoa Programming for mac OSX (second edition), the author is Aaron Hillegass, it’s a great book for both beginner and the more experienced.

    The book works with examples, which you can reproduce every step of Objective-c is well documented by Aaron in understandable english. It’s kind like a big tutorial book which gives you the basics for writing your own programms.

    I am really enjoying this book, it really makes you familair with working with Xcode in combination with Interface Builder.

    I do have a question for all planning to use a stepper motor or other electrical motor. does anyone have a circuit schematic for a stepper driver/controller which i can connect to the board, i do see alot on the internet but can’t really find a good driver that will work for sure with the velleman board. Andy if you are reading with us can you help me with this? Specifications should be a driver that can control 3 steppers using the digital output signals of the velleman board.

    For now Mike good luck with your project send me pics if you have any!

    regards Bastiaan

  60. Pierre Says:

    Great work… I had an old velleman RS232 device and some personnal programs (in VIP-BASIC) to communicate with that old board. I would now use the programming software “REVOLUTION” (kind of hypercard) to develop some utilities programs for the 8055. How can I talk to the board ? I’m not a specialist in programmation… with the old RS232 board, it was so easy to “open com1 for input/output” but now with the new USB one, i don’t no what to do… Thanks (sorry if the english is so bad !


  61. Andy Says:

    I was planning to add AppleScript support to the app so that you could have used that - but I’m pretty busy with other stuff just now so it might take a while I’m afraid.

  62. Pierre Says:


    No problem. thanks for the work you already have done ! It’s SSSUUUPER


  63. Chris Says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for the effort. I bought the k8055 from Maplin after finding out it CLI support on the Mac, figured out it was good enough to start off with.

    After not getting the CLI to work I went googling and arrived here. Was wondering why I wasn’t getting anywhere until I uninstalled the CLI .kext all worked!

    Looking forward to the Applescript support as I don’t think I have the time to learn Cocoa!

  64. John Says:

    Hi, Just a quick note to say that I bought the K8055 from Maplin here in Ireland last week (49.49 euro) after seeing this site, just got a chance to assemble it now, and Andy’s software worked first time!! (17″ Powerbook - OS X 10.3.9). Thanks so much for this - it’s years since I had any fun with a soldering iron. Can’t wait for some applescript support so I can start doing stuff!

  65. Clive Says:

    Hi Andy, I’m a complete newcomer to this discussion. I would be really interested in using the board (K8055) for simple midi interfacing ie. using alternative controllers - swithches, pots, light sensors etc. as I teach music technology but am not really a programmer. Any suggestions as to how I could go about this?

    many thanks.

  66. Andy Says:

    I’m sure a driver could be written to make it masquerade as a MIDI device - but that’s not trivial. In fact any solution I can think of would involve a fair bit of programming…

  67. Michael Says:

    Hi Clive,

    I teach music tech and I’m also a software developer. If you have any questions reagarding triggering MIDI events via the K8055 (which I also own), please feel free to get in touch.

  68. Michael Says:

    Oops - sorry, forgot to put my website address.

  69. Lurch Says:

    Just thought I’d post to let you know Maplin in the UK have currently got the assembled board (VM110) on offer (until 21st March) at £24.99 - which is 5 quid cheaper than the DIY version! And it works fine with your software (I tried the .dmg) on my MacMini running 10.3.9 :-)

  70. James Hernon Says:

    Just bought the VM110 K8055 from Maplin UK for 24.99, now Im looking around for interesting interfacing projects to do with it. I got the whole kit pre-built so no soldering was required. Velleman also produce a PIC programmer which is also for sale at Maplin for 24.99 the VM111 a real steal, mind you it only does 8P/14P/18P and 24P.

    Nice to see Mac people have the software for this K8055 would be interesting to hear what people manage to get up to with this board.

  71. Arnoud Says:

    Nice to see OS X support for this board. Keep up the good work. I would realy appreciate a CLI tool, to control the board, so I can control it from a Perl program.

    I plan to make a programmable thermostat from this board (with the VM132 sensor). Would be realy cool, if I can use my Mac Mini for that :)

  72. Nigel Says:

    hi all i just bought the k8055 board and built it up but i’m really interested in using it as a house alarm. Can anyone help me in software suitable for windows. I know everyone here is mac but i’m having trouble finding any windows software apaprt from the supplied panel program. any help would be great.

  73. doc Says:

    Recently saw assembled board on sale at Maplin for £19.99… so bought two :-)

    Already controlling it from PureBasic (Windows) which was very simple to do using PB’s DLLImport tool (just a quick test, no interface yet). Also got a working c# version of the demo program. PB is best for speed but I like C# for gui-ness (plus I’m still learning c# so this makes things a little more interesting). I intend to put the code to both up on a website soon.

    I also have a mac mini sitting here doing very little so I’m grateful to know there is sw for the 8055 - thanks Andy! How did you find the info needed to write your own sw for it? Do you know if the the output states can be read from the board?

  74. doc Says:

    PS: Is it ok to nick your photo of the board at the top of this page? I want to use it as a the bg for a mimic panel.

  75. f. Says:

    Arnoud: try building the stuff from

  76. Andrew Says:

    I have been looking for weather station type devices which output to PC. They are available, but there are too many possible places to look locally, other than hydroponics stores which have the expensive ones. I CAN buy Velleman kits not far from work and could certainly learn what I need to to make them work for me. What I want is two things:
    recording devices for LUX, temperature and humidity, which I can use in the field with the laptop or at home with terraria
    output devices to control lighting, heating, water pumps, etc, primarily for terraria

    If I can input/output from Excel or Access, I can collect and measure raw data, or synchronise terraria with real-world data. In theory, I should be able to take a 4 channel wireless weather station, open the base unit and wire it to output via USB. It would be cheaper and easier to get than available systems I know are here, but more difficult to do and slightly more expensive than what I know exists. You’d think it’d be easy to find something like this in a high-tech town like Calgary, but I’m not phoning 150 companies to find it! Any ideas on feasability, practicality, or ready-made sources?

  77. doc Says:

    Click on my name above for C# .Net 2.0 source.

  78. doc Says:

    Small updates to C# version (to be revamped by end of week). Also added PureBasic version.

  79. alpha Says:

    Hello Andy

    just wondered if you had made more progress with the Velleman. I’m interested because I’m doing a summer school project and was thinking I might use this. Had looked at these

    I think I would probably attempt to hook it up to pd max…

  80. Andy Says:

    I’m afraid I’ve been too busy with other things…

  81. Bastiaan Says:

    Hello everybody, i am really intrested if anybody who used Andy’s software done anything intresting with it. I am still waiting for Andy to make it applescriptable but i can imagine that there are people here who have managed to make a usefull application and are controlling stuff already.

    If so please put your link up i make sure i’ll visit it as i am really curious

  82. Colin Bridgewater Says:

    Hi Andy

    Many thanks for making your driver available at sourceforge. Using your code, I have been able to improve radically my (Carbon) app for driving a radio-controlled MLRS tank via the k8055 board:

    [I extracted the relevant bits of your Cocoa driver to fit with the Carbon-based USBPrivateDataSample provided by Apple for IOKit newbies like me. After wiring the radio-control handset to the k8055 board, I'm now able to drive the tank from my Mac Mini.]

    You get credits in the relevant source code headers and on the About window. My project is freely available under GNU license, as is my app for the M&S USB Missile Launcher:

    Let me know if you want copies of the apps (both require 10.3.X and up).

    Best wishes

    Colin Bridgewater

    “My other vehicle is a 03-K64 Firefly-class transport”

  83. Andy Says:

    That’s really cool Colin :)

    I might have to get a tank now…

  84. Mark Says:

    Could you email me a link to the mac driver for the USB air dart? My address is milone at


  85. Hannes Says:

    hy Andy
    are you going to make it applescriptable?
    i would like to such an application, but i don’t know how to make it…

    PS.: sorry for my bad english, its not my language…

  86. Andy Says:

    I don’t think I have the time just now I’m afraid. The source is there if anyone else would like to do it :)

  87. Bastiaan Says:

    Hello everybody.

    I regulary check this website for any changes in developement, shame that Andy hasn’t got time to take this application to the next level but i do understand. I do hope that you manage to get things going again in the near future as i see a lot of potential for this.

    I just went out to buy myself some components for a stepper controller (L298+L297), i am starting out with a 1 motor circuit just to see if i can get things going if that will work i will build the hardware for a x,y,z cnc table.
    Those IC’s i bought are pretty strong and should produce enough power to get some 2Ampere 36 volt motors running, which should be enough for a CNC table.

    Bad thing is that my knowledge of cocoa is pretty basic and i am not able to write a full blown programm that can communicate with K8055 and control the steppers.

    I still hope that somebody out here is planning to do the same and is already busy on the software side of this story.

    Anyway i am back to the drawing board to get my schematics and pcb’s ready for the stepper controller.

    If i have this done i am willing to share those with the rest of the world, hopefully Andy can put them up in combination with this topic to show the rest of the world what kind of power the K8055 and some homebuild electronics can have with his or parts of his software and to show that his idea is still worked on.

    I think this topic should stay alive as there is a demand for these kinds of applications, so many stories out there of people having a pc on there desk just because there isn´t anything around for the mac to control hardware.
    And if it is its gonna cost us alot of money, thats why i dream of somebody taking this software one step further.

    I do like a unix type of programm too which you can send commands through a cocoa programm. This way you can make it fairly easy to get is cross/platform.

    Anyway i do understand this software isn´t any priority but i do hope that Andy or somebody else with programming knowledge will get things going again.

    I bow for those that can work with cocoa!!!! And Andy i still think you put up a hell of a programming now i just wish that cocoa was like english then i might be able to figure stuff out without having Xcode compile errors and memory leaks hahah

    regards Bastiaan

  88. bigbear Says:

    Hey Bastiaan! I am doing the same thing you are, but I little ahead of you maybe. I have built 2 cnc machines, working on my third. I am trying to do a USB interface for the mac. I have been writting software in REALBASIC and am working on my USB i/o. Check out They made a USB to parallel converter that will drive a Stepper driver board such as the xylotex
    They used easyHID which makes a template program for Visual Basic and Pic basic pro. I am working to convert the VB files to realbasic. RB compiles in windows and Mac and Linix. I hope to get this software to communicate via the USB. I will post all the code for the template program if I get it to work. You can follow my progress here:

  89. Jason Says:

    Hi all, I’m really new to this sort of stuff.

    I recently purchased the K8055 board and was wondering if it can do things like power up an electric motor etc…

    I know it can output up to 5V, but so far I can’t get the motor to do anything! Who knows - maybe I haven’t plugged it in correctly! ;)

    Any help would be appreciated.

  90. Jon Lewis Says:

    Hi Andy
    just built the board works a treat on a G4 power book now to take it into the field to control a remote camera directly from the mac, keep you posted at to how it goes.

  91. Alessandro Saporetti Says:

    Hi Andy
    Built the device , downloaded the software , connected the cable, launched software … work like a charm !!! Fantastic job well done Andy…
    Now if only you will find the time to build a DLL compatible with Xcode AND RealBasic … you will be my Hero !!!

  92. Nandana Says:


    I bought this card tody without knowing your programme. After checking on a pc I just connnected to my ibook to what happens. Then I searched google to find any programmes for mac and found your programme. It worked straightaway. Excellent work.
    I am hoping to use this board for a remort camera for wildlife photography.
    Hope you will find time to develop this programme.

    Keep up the good work


  93. wossy Says:

    There’s a sourceforge C project for interfacing with k8055 boards. It’s open source and its also got python support.

    Don’t need any of this GUI or scripting nonsense.

  94. thrillseeker Says:

    Where can I buy the fysical product??
    Who delivers the : K8055 USB I/O ??

  95. guera Says:

    i am a cocoa farmer if u are interested in doing business with me then contact me

  96. steve Says:


    Verry nice work! How far are we today? I would like to make ik possible to control the K8055 using a web interface on for example a iPod Touch for a home automation setup.

  97. Sam R Says:

    I tried to download the program on Mac OS X 10.5.2 and when I plugged in my board, then launched the application it said that the application closed. Then if I launch the application first then plug in the board nothing happens. What am I doing wrong?

  98. Tom Killoran Says:

    Do you think you will write any programs that allow users to control this board through Max/Msp or any equivalent programs? This would make this device very powerful.

  99. Ashley (Zer0) Says:

    Hey Andy,

    GREAT WORK. Wish i saw the point about making sure that the kext file is deleted (wasted a few hours).

    Worked straight away after that. Love the fact that its cocoa as well, so that i can change it up to suit me


  100. sh33dafi Says:


    Is there any chance that a there is an jni export to control this card?
    I want to write a java app using the K8055 so I wanted to make the link between java and the driver part with JNI. Been busy whole day getting the jni export to work but so far I was only able to create some simple hello world stuff. My C/C++ knowledge is just to limited.
    If somebody has a better Idea on how I can use the K8055 with java under OS X please feel free to inform me.

    Any way great job so far :)

  101. Dieter Schmidt Says:

    there are so many 2009 comments in this blog that I hope that someone can help me: I downloaded the program on both of my macs (macbook, powerbook g4, os 10.5.7). The program ran, but the device was not found (I tested the K8055 with a c++-program).
    What am I doing wrong?

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